18 1/2 years ago I was squeezing what felt like a massive 9lbs 4oz watermelon out of my vajayjay. This weekend, I will be taking said watermelon (aka my son) to Bournemouth University and waving him goodbye for the next three years.  (Although, I may allow him home for Christmas.)


I have tried hard to process this information over the last few weeks but I still don’t think it has sunk in yet. However, the tell tale signs of how I’m going to cope on Saturday are already there as every time I try and talk about it, I burst into tears. Big, wet, heaving tears. It’s ridiculous.


Some people didn’t even know I had ‘an eldest’ as I have made a point of not focusing on him on my blog because, as a teenager, I wanted to protect his privacy. It’s not that I wasn’t allowed to talk about him, moreover I just felt he needed to be his own person without having to read about the ins and outs of his life on my blog. (I am also very aware of how this will be the same case for Dexter in the very near future.)


However, just for today, I wanted to take the time to talk briefly about how very proud I am of my son Ben. I know it’ll embarrass the hell out of him but hey, he’s moving county so he can just ignore it.


So, what to say about Ben?  He is tall (like his Dad,) very handsome, smart (smarter than he actually realises) and deep down, at heart, he is a kind gentle soul. I am not sure he would approve of that description but to me, that pretty much sums him up.


I know he is equally excited and nervous about going to University but I hope that he appreciates what an exciting chapter this is going to be in his life. Part of the reason I went to university seven years ago was to inspire my children. Not necessarily because they had to go to university, but just to show them that anything was possible.


He is going to have the time of his life. It’ll be tough and he’ll wonder why the hell he decided to do it at times, but he is also going to make lifelong friends and in three years’ time he will have grown exponentially in every way.


But fundamentally, he will always be my boy. The kid with the white blonde curls and inquisitive blue eyes who was always so laid back and very, very happy.


My mum adored my boy nearly as much as I did and I hope she’ll be looking down on him this weekend smiling to herself because amazingly, even though I split from his Dad when Ben was only 3, I think between us, we actually did alright.


I have always been Ben’s constant. The one person that has always been there, whether he wanted me to be or not, and the fact that he’s going to university won’t change that.


My boy, now a man.


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Published by Kate Sutton

Writer, Mother, Dater.

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  1. As someone who has been through this twice, I know exactly what you mean. I wasn’t too bad when my eldest went to Uni, as I still had a teenager at home. But when the youngest went, well, tears!! I followed the three men in my family round Asda buying stuff for his room, the eldest telling him what he would and wouldn’t need, his Dad telling him what he could afford etc. with me trailing behind feeling like I wasn’t needed.
    Bournemouth is a brilliant place to live. In the summer he will love it. The nightlife is amazing (apparently) and the beach is fab. There are loads of places to eat cheaply.
    We also have a pretty good football team, Championship, and they do student rates (if he is in to football). He is on the doorstep to the New Forest (easily accessible by train) he is not far from Portsmouth (ferries to the continent) or Poole (the Channel Islands), oh and there is an airport, plus an amazing airshow on the beach every year for free.
    And if push comes to real shove, then I am not very far away (15 – 20 mins drive) and I can go and rescue him if he needs it.
    Both my boys have grown up in so many ways and both have benefited from going to Uni.
    Give him a hug from me!! My youngest is taking us out to dinner tonight, before he goes back to Uni to begin an MA!!! I don’t know where he gets the brains from because it certainly isn’t me!

      1. You have to come and bring Dexter next time the weather is lovely (even in the winter if it is a cold dry day it is a nice place, especially Hengistbury Head).

  2. Both my lovely boys have been to university and emerged at ‘the other end’. I felt the same as you! Uni terms are relatively short, and they still come home. Ben will learn so much. Not just academically, but in ‘life’ terms. And he will still need you! xxx

  3. Hi Kate
    Enjoyed reading this. My daughter is on her second year of A levels and we are currently doing the rounds of potential universities. A scary time indeed, but I feel sure, not too dissimilar from their first day at school, he will have settled in and practically forgotten about you after half an hour!!

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